My students need extra support. Students at this school are hard working learners. They may come from homes that are struggling. More than three-fourths of them are on free or reduced-price lunch, but that doesn’t stop them from wanting an education. The students are multiracial, including 40% White, 31% Hispanic, 23% Black, 3% Asian, and 3% multi-race. This creates an environment of acceptance and tolerance for all. My challenge is to level the playing field so that students with fewer opportunities are able to compete academically with those who have more opportunities.
Creating learning experiences for these students is the best part of my job; the joy on their faces as they are discovering something new and integrating knowledge into their “personal toolkits” is priceless.
In my learning environment, I endeavor to set them up to win in an environment that is inviting and comfortable. Sometimes, that means school supplies, mending clothing, a band-aid or a kind word. I believe this will not only help the students focus, but will also produce a higher level of work from the student. Teaching these young learners is a privilege.
As a media specialist, it is difficult to get 6th grade students to read chapter books on there own. At this stage in their school lives, they consider it extra work instead of enjoyment. Yet, there are always a small group of students that love to read, and I want to encourage them to keep reading.
Every year, a 6th grade teacher and I run a book club with Sunshine State Young Reader Awards books.
A group of media specialists in Florida pick 15 amazing books every school year. These are the books that our book club students read and share their opinions of. It is quite amazing some of the deep discussions we get in over these books. It is such a bonding experience.
Students at our school that read at least 8 of these chapter books are then invited to go to SLAM where schools compete in various activities against each other having to do with these books. It is just a fun day for all students and teachers.
I would love to be able to have a full set of these SSYRA books ready at the beginning of the school year my students to start reading. I know they will be so excited and want to read them right away.
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